We tend to get emotionally involved and dependent on so many things that either a) don’t matter, or b) can’t satisfy. Here’s an example of something that does neither for me.
Fantasy football is not a good activity for me. Most people have a healthy relationship with fantasy football, but I don’t. I spend the week obsessing over my lineup. Then I spend Sunday afternoon cursing my players for each dropped pass, while resenting my opponent’s players for each gained yard. I don’t enjoy myself. Not until the last second ticks away do I breath a sigh of relief – and that’s if I won. If I lost I’ll be in a bad mood. Wait, isn’t this supposed to be fun?
That’s why I’ve decided not to play anymore. Ever. That’s just me, though. Most people can play fantasy football, and actually enjoy it, and I admire your capacity to keep things in perspective. You’re truly better people than I am!
Becoming dependent on something that doesn’t matter and can’t satisfy is addressed in the Bible under the broad category of idolatry. My obsession with fantasy football definitely became an issue of idolatry for me. For Israel, it was something different. Israel was a nation privileged to be a theocracy, ruled beneficently by the almighty God of heaven and earth, but they decided instead to worship wooden statues of gods like Baal and Asherah. That seems like a pretty laughable trade-off in hindsight, don’t you think?
The men and women chosen by God to speak for him in those days thought the same thing. Turning to observational humor, which predates Jerry Seinfeld by about 2,500 years, the Israelite prophets wrote jokes about idolatrous Israel. Here’s a good one-liner by Hosea, “They consult a wooden idol and are answered by a stick of wood.” Ba dum tss.
Here’s some stand-up from Isaiah, if you have the time to read it. (If you read it in Seinfeld’s am-I-the-only-one-around-here-that-thinks-this-is-ridiculous voice, then you’ll have a good understanding of the tone Isaiah is going for.)
If you’re wrapped up in something that doesn’t matter and can’t satisfy, then the Bible might be making fun of you. In a good-hearted way, of course. The Bible’s Author wishes that you turn to something better.
So, what are you frustrated about today? What are you hoping will satisfy you that’s led to nothing but disappointment? What are you wrapped up in? Stop and ask yourself 2 questions: does it really matter, and can it really satisfy?
If your answer to both questions is “no,” then in the words of Bob Newhart, “Stop it!”
That’s what I had to do with fantasy football, and believe me, I don’t regret it. It simply doesn’t matter anymore.
Turn to God, and his Son Jesus, as the only one who truly matters and truly satisfies. Get wrapped up in him. Become dependent on him. Find your security in him, and watch as your life becomes marked with peace.
As a wise man once said, “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”